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The Erotic EdgeReview - The Erotic Edge
Erotica for Couples
by Lonnie Barbach (Editor)
Passion Press, 1995
Review by Christian Perring, Ph.D.
Jun 10th 2004 (Volume 8, Issue 24)

In this collection, Lonnie Barbach chose erotica that should appeal to both men and women.† Much of her career has been based on making available erotic material that differs from standard male-oriented pornography, and these stories are part of this.† This audiobook includes five stories, by Anna Nymus, Bruce Zimmerman, Shimon Craig van Collie, Dena Vered and Marsha Powers.† Nymus's "The Wager" is a short tale of a woman seducing and toying with a man in a crowded bar, an anonymous encounter with almost no words exchanged.† Zimmerman's "Waiting For Claire" is a longer piece about a married couple waiting for another woman to arrive at their house.† Gina tells her husband about a relationship she had when she was nineteen and living in Tangiers.† This had been with a young British couple.† This mťnage Š trois lasted for over a year.† The woman from the couple, Claire, has contacted Gina and wants to visit.† There is anticipation in the air as they wait for Claire to arrive.† In the days before the visit, the Gina reveals more about this time from her earlier life, and this ignites passion between the couple.† "Preliminaries" tells of an anonymous meeting between a man and an older woman at a sports event, where they have sex under the bleachers.†

These three stories on the first tape are all explicit but they have different styles.† "Preliminaries" is the most detailed and conventional in its language and descriptions it uses.† Of course, different people's tastes in these matters vary, but personally phrases such as "my rising prominence" strike me as more absurd than erotic.† "Waiting For Claire" is more successful in combining straightforward language with some sexual mystery.

On the second tape are two stories, one about 30 minutes, the other 40 minutes, both performed by Carol Jordan Stewart.† "The Accident" is about an encounter in the Middle East between a journalist and a good Samaritan who is not what he appears.† "11:30 p.m. - Saturday Night" features another female lead, this time a divorced woman who is starting to date again.† Her date is an ex-football player and he comes to her place for dinner.† The whole story describes their evening as they flirt and have sex: those who are impatient for the story to get down to the "good part" may want to skip the initial banter between the two, but presumably what makes this "erotica for couples" is precisely that it does more to build up the characterization and context before the couples starts taking their clothes off.†

It isn't easy to know how to assess these stories for their erotic power.† They are fairly conventional as erotica, with unexceptional coding of sexiness (lace bras, soft flesh, heavy breathing) although they at least figure women as powerful as men, and they don't contain degrading language.† As literature, they are uninteresting, although maybe Dena Vered's story of the journalist has enough complexity to be more striking and memorable.† But generally people don't purchase erotica for its literary value, so itís a question of whether it serves a function for the listener.† Those who have enjoyed the other erotica collected by Lonnie Barbach will probably like this too.†

 

Link: Passion Press

 

© 2004 Christian Perring. All rights reserved.

 

Christian Perring, Ph.D., is Academic Chair of the Arts & Humanities Division and Chair of the Philosophy Department at Dowling College, Long Island. He is also editor of Metapsychology Online Review.  His main research is on philosophical issues in medicine, psychiatry and psychology.


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